March 22, 2010
A chastened Nicolas Sarkozy will attempt this week to relaunch his presidency after voters yesterday vented their unhappiness by thrashing his centre-right party in elections for regional councils.
The Socialist opposition and its Green allies won an estimated 55 per cent of the vote compared with about 37 per cent for the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), according to exit polls. However, they failed to score the clean sweep that they had hoped against Mr Sarkozy’s camp in the voting for the 22 regional councils of mainland France and Corsica.
UMP supporters who abstained in the first round of the elections on March 14 returned to the polls and saved Alsace, a right-wing stronghold and the only mainland region that the party already controlled. The Socialists captured Corsica from the Right, but lost La Réunion, the Indian Ocean island that is one of France’s four overseas regions.
Senior UMP figures acknowledged that their party had been punished by voters in a test of the Sarkozy administration.
This article was posted: Monday, March 22, 2010 at 11:02 am